Confession time. I’m going through a bit of a struggle right now. Maybe you know the kind. When things could be worse, but they sure could get better. Let’s face it, I have a lot to be grateful for. But though Christmas is two days away, we didn’t even put up our tree this year. (It’s a first.)
In the spirit of authenticity, I have to be honest. I’m struggling to get through a difficult year. It’s offered some pretty nice highs, but the lows plunged deep. I’m ready for a fresh start in the new year.
I wonder if anyone reading this can relate to some of the issues our family is facing. Further down, I’ll share some positives, but first the problems. I don’t want to be a whiner, so I won’t wallow in the details, but I’ll briefly recap a few of the facts related to my mood:
- I have a prodigal son whom I dearly love, but simply refuses to make good choices for himself. This has went on for years, so my husband and I feel drained. And financially? Even though we stopped spending money on his consequences some time ago, the cost of our past attempts to save him still haunt us today.
- My grandson, child of said prodigal, lives with his mommy in conditions almost unimaginable. The abuse and filth he’s surrounded by are constant concerns. And yet, we are helpless to intervene. Believe me, we’ve tried.
- All five of my siblings are all dealing with major problems. Financial, physical, marital, spiritual, and emotional. I’m sure much of it stems from our parents’ divorce over thirty years ago. It’s amazing how buried things burrow back up to the surface.
- My father-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and had emergency surgery in June. His recovery has been miraculous, but not without many frightening moments, and much follow-up.
- My husband’s siblings are equally dealing with unrest. And serious health issues. Last week, his older brother was told he would be put on a heart transplant list if there isn’t improvement in three months. His brother just younger, is still in the hospital, a week after emergency gall bladder surgery the doctor called, “The worst I’ve ever seen.” He too has heart issues. It runs in the family.
- This brings me to my next big concern. My own husband’s health. Not only are heart problems threaded into his DNA, but he’s a long time smoker. He’s tried to quit numerous times in our thirty years of marriage, and plans to try again at the first of the year, but his cough sends chills down my spine. Call me selfish, but I love my man, and don’t relish the thought of becoming a young widow.
- Obamacare is another weight I’m carrying. We maintain a tight budget already, so how do our governmental leaders expect us to pay for this mess they call Healthcare Reform? If we could afford health insurance, we’d already have it. Cramming it down our throats, and penalizing us if we don’t comply, is not going to solve our problems.
- Looking for my biological father continues to add anxiety. I try not to let it bother me, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t.
There are additional things swirling in the dark clouds of my mental outlook right now, but I’ve made a decision. I refuse to give in and give up. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the pages in a thousand books, the money in a thousand banks — and then some. He is my provider of all things financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual, and He WILL take care of me and those I love. Faith is believing in what you can’t yet see, so I praise Him before I see the results of His good and perfect gifts. And I do my part in working with him to turn things around.
So here are five things I am doing to transform my mood from dark to bright:
- I am resolving not to wallow in self-pity, or focus on what is wrong in my life, or that of those I care for.
- I am practicing gratitdue and joy. I’ve used a gratitude journal in my past when depression threatened to smother the life out of me. The other day, a friend shared how she writes three things she can be joyful for, along with a short prayer, in her daily diary. As she walks through a difficult time, it is helping her see some light.
- A couple of days ago, I started Michael Hyatt’s Five Days to Your Best Year Ever. I’m investing in making decisions for a better future. I know the choices I make today will determine the outcomes of tomorrow.
- I’m being honest. Instead of hiding or pretending, I am allowing myself to share raw and vulnerable problems. I even wrote a list of everything I’m worrying about, and then took it to God. He can fix what I cannot.
- I’m accepting help. Pride tried to rear its ugly head yesterday, when my BFF said, “I’m getting you out of the house tomorrow.” I almost said no. But instead, I’m taking a deep breath, and getting ready to leave shortly.
Getting through a difficult year is something I’ve heard many say they are struggling with. I hope my openness hasn’t made you feel worse, conversely, I hope it encourages you. You are not alone. You can cry out to God. You can lay your worries in His hands. Together, let’s ask Him show us how much He loves us and cares for our daily concerns. There’s power in believing.
Are you brave enough to ask, “Lord, how much do you love me?”
Anita Fresh Faith
Luke 12:7 (NIV)
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, and national speaker. Anita is also the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Lifeway, Christianbook.com, select Walmart’s, plus many fine stores, Christian and otherwise.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, and a client of WordServe Literary Group. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries. Anita co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
Anita is passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Her favorite past time is lounging by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.